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Cerebral Palsy Essay

2633 words - 11 pages

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a life changing disease, which is caused by loss of oxygen to the brain, being the source of muscle weakness overtime (Mayo Clinic). It not only affects the individual that has CP, but every other person that is a part of their family. There are many different severities of CP. My good friend Torie is on the more severe end of the spectrum requiring help for nearly everything. She has three sisters, Emily, Anne, and Maggie, a mom, Caroline, and a dad, Gerard. They all contribute to caring for Torie on a daily basis. Approximately 10,000 babies in the United States are born with CP each year and Torie was one of them. Torie’s long journey started while still in the ...view middle of the document...

Occupational therapy is a form of therapy in which patients are encouraged to engage in vocational tasks or expressive activities (dictionary.com). An occupational therapist would work more with upper body strength and motor skills, such as passing a ball back and forth, playing with putty, and making friendship bracelets. Having CP can mean different things. There are different severities of CP depending how long the individual was without oxygen as an infant or toddler. For example a friend of Torie’s has CP, but she can talk and walk short periods of time. She does still struggle with muscle spasms and seizures. “It’s not contagious! (Queally, Torie). ” This is what Torie says to people who ask about her CP. She wants people to know that although she is in a wheelchair, doesn’t mean she can’t be involved with so-called “normal people.” She wants to be spoken to like an average person, she can comprehend a conversation just as well as the normal person. She was not treated this way when she was in school. People made fun of her and when they tried to talk to her, they weren’t patient enough for her to type it on her Tango to reply. She relies on her parents, sisters, and a CNA (certified nurses assistant) to provide her primary care. The basic things we do on a daily basis such as, bathing, getting dressed, and eating, Torie needs 100% help with. We take these simple tasks for granted, when Torie relies on people for everything. The simplest things like brushing her teeth and taking a drink, Torie requires assistance. Torie is involved in volunteering at her former high school and at the local library. Her CNA drives her there and helps her with the volunteer work. Some of Torie’s hobbies are bowling, painting, and skyping family and friends. She paints using a head piece. This piece goes on her head and the paint brush attaches to it, she then dips the brush into the color she wants and paints on a piece of paper on her tray. I’m sure you’re wondering how she communicates without being able to speak or control her muscle spasms, which limits her from being able to use sign language. She uses a device called a Tango, a letter/symbol board, and a new Blue 2 Switch. Her Tango is a device which features a series of six screens. These screens contain categories of words or phrases. Torie uses a scanning button located at her knee. Due to her lack of motor skills she can’t use the touch screen feature. The Tango scrolls through the screens, when the screen that Torie wants is selected, she taps the button with her knee. It then leads her into the next category, set of words, or phrases. She can select words and phrases and form sentences which the Tango will store and say for her when she’s done. It has 2,500 preloaded words and phrases (Youtube.com). The Tango is also approximately 7,000 dollars. Although it is very expensive, Torie’s parents paid for it so she’d be able to communicate as needed. Torie has customized hers by putting in jokes,...

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